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Serjeant at Arms

The Serjeant at Arms is responsible for keeping order within the Commons part of the parliamentary estate. There are also some ceremonial aspects to the role. The Serjeant at Arms directorate is part of the In-House Services Team.

Areas of responsibility in the parliamentary estate

The responsibilities of the Serjeant at Arms apply to the House of Commons chamber, public galleries, committee rooms and the Commons' areas of the parliamentary estate.

Ceremonial duties

The Serjeant at Arms' ceremonial duties involves carrying the House of Commons mace during the Speaker's procession. This is when the Speaker and his staff walk to the House of Commons Chamber before each sitting. The Serjeant, or a deputy Serjeant, sits in the Commons Chamber and is responsible for order and access for the duration of the sitting. The Speaker can call upon them to escort people out. The Serjeant at Arms wears a traditional uniform and a sword.

History of the role

The office of Serjeant at Arms dates back to 1415 and the reign of Henry V when the Serjeant was responsible for carrying out the orders of the House of Commons, including making arrests. Today, the Serjeant at Arms performs ceremonial duties that date back to the early days of the office, for example the Serjeant is required to carry the mace in the Speaker's Procession each day and also into the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament.

Serjeant at Arms

Ugbana Oyet is the Serjeant at Arms. Mr Oyet was appointed in October 2019. Prior to this he was Parliament's Principal Electrical Engineer and Programme Director for the Engineering Infrastructure and Resilience Programme.

House of Commons Enquiry Service

The House of Commons Enquiry Service answers questions about the work, history and membership of the House.

Telephone: 0800 112 4272 (Freephone) or 020 7219 4272
Text phone: Dial 18001 followed byour full number

Telephone enquiry service is open between 10am-12 midday and 2pm-4pm (Monday to Friday).

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Further information

Further information

House of Commons Library notes

Living Heritage pages